The business of continued aggression by Ghanaians against Nigerian spare parts traders in Kumasi has attracted high government intervention on the part of Nigeria.
On Thursday, the President’s Senior Special Adviser on Diaspora and foreign affairs, also the Chairperson of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission Abike Dabiri-Erewa led a high-powered team from the NDC on a visit to Ghana’s High Commissioner in Nigeria.
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Rashid Bawa, the Ghanaian High Commissioner who received them, assured both the delegation and the country, that Nigerians conducting legitimate businesses in his homeland had no need to fear any kind of victimization.
The airwaves had been inundated in recent times by reports of a concerted attack against primarily Nigerian traders in auto parts in Suame Magazine Industrial area, Kumasi, Ghana, by red-scarves costumed Ghanaians. This was especially galling considering the warm relationship between the two countries.
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Abike Dabiri-Erewa pointed out that contrary to the position in Ghana, Ghanaians in the Nigeria were treated like brothers and sisters, and were free to come and go as they pleased.
Reports also indicated that apart from the harassment, no less than 50 shops belonging to Nigerians were locked by the rampaging youths. Their grouse apparently was the dominance of foreigners (Nigerians) over the spare parts trade in Kumasi. They cited the contravention of local laws governing retail trading in Ghana.
50 Nigerian spare parts shops were locked in Ghana
To mollify the NDC delegation, the Ghanaian diplomat assured Hon. Dabiri-Erewa and her team that Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, had immediately drafted in the Police to deal with the situation. He blamed the affair on “youths taking the law into their hands” following stories of kidnappings carried out in Ghana by Nigerians. Said Bawa:
"When a crime is committed between individuals, it is not between nations.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa responded by asking for strong assurances of the safety of Nigerians in Ghana. In her words:
"We need assurance on the protection of Nigerians. We have Ghanians living in Nigeria and we treat them as brothers and sisters,"
On Nigerians alleged involvement in crimes like kidnapping in the sister West African country, she added:
"We should know who they are; we should know, who those people are that are giving the country a bad name. Nigerians should not just be criminalized."
Both NDC Chairperson and Ghana High Commissioner appealed to the media to be responsible in their handling of the situation, and not further stoke tensions.
Mrs Dabiri-Erewa then made a similar overture in a visit to Togo’s Ambassador in Nigeria. Lene Dimban, the Togolese envoy in Nigeria assured that the events in Ghana would not be allowed to take the stage a second time in Togo. (NAN)
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